You are Your Brand: Social Media Etiquette 101

You know it’s 2014 when you take a class called “social media management.”

In all seriousness, being a “Telecom: Media and Society” major has some awesome 21st century perks. I find it amazingly useful that my classes teach me about media laws and ethics, how much (or little) privacy we have on the Internet, how to use twitter to gain brand recognition and search engine optimization.

But I’ll never forget one thing my professor told the class about using personal social media sites: “you are your brand.” As a college student in today’s society, using social networking is a major part of getting a job, showing the world who you are and who you want to be. Social media can be a tricky thing, with many of us not knowing how personal or professional to be. Here’s five tips I’ve learned about how to manage your online persona.

Courtesy of Yahoo! News

Courtesy of Yahoo! News

1. The world can see your posts. Remember this rule- even if it’s private, it’s public. The Internet is a unique machine, allowing us to display our innermost thoughts as well as viewing the private thoughts of complete strangers. When posting a tweet, blog or Facebook status, think about how your boss would react if you said it to their face.

2. Take full advantage of the Internet. There are so many useful websites like LinkedIn, Word Press and YouTube that can get your name out there without spending any cash. You can also easily promote yourself or connect with influential people in your chosen field through sites like Twitter and Instagram. It’s crazy simple, so there’s no reason to miss out on these types of opportunities.

3. Stick to a schedule. If you’re trying to gain followers for a blog, Twitter or Instagram, it’s important to maintain a consistent schedule for posting content. If you rarely post new information, people will forget about you as fast as they found you. If you post too often, you’ll be spamming people’s feeds with unnecessary information. It’s important to find a happy medium, whether that’s posting once a day, week or month.

4. Put YOUR best foot forward. It’s important to remember that personal social media sites are supposed to show people who you are, not a fake or unrealistic version of yourself. Yes, its good to keep a clean reputation on the web, but don’t be afraid to express yourself or be original- its what social media is truly for!

5. Keep it light. Remember that social media is supposed to be a fun distraction! It’s not necessarily an outlet to argue with others, go on long political rants, or bombard people with personal critiques. If the topic is something you wouldn’t easily discuss at an dinner party or work event, take a second to consider if it’s worth putting online.

Finding the perfect balance of your own personality mixed with workplace professionalism on social media websites can be a challenge. But when used correctly, social media can open many doors (literally) for your future.

“What’s going on in Venezuela?”

2014_Venezuelan_Protests_(12F)

It seems as if media coverage of the political and social unrest happening in Venezuela popped up overnight. National student-run peaceful protests started just this month, and received global attention on February 12th when three people were killed. The death toll has since been increased to eight (according to BBC), and it doesn’t seem as if the situation is getting better anytime soon.

What’s the issue at hand? The protesters want tighter security, food in their grocery stores, and protection of freedom of speech. They also took to social media to tell their stories and spread the word about the horrors they are currently facing.

But the Venezuelan government seems to want the coverage of these events disappearing as fast as they appeared. The government has issued a “media-blackout” and is limiting the investigations by news sources covering the event.

CNN gave readers an easy-to-understand article addressing the main questions people have about what exactly is going on in Venezuela and why. But a recent BBC article explains that Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has “vowed to expel CNN until they rectify their coverage,” and continues by saying that he “won’t accept war propaganda against Venezuela.”

But now that people know about the situation in Venezuela, or at least see something about it on their Facebook and Twitter feeds, I don’t think they will allow this type of censorship. The Caracas Chronicles wrote a piece about the lack of new coverage on international news sites and basically asked media to “step it up.”

To conclude, many are unaware as to what will happen next for the people of Venezuela. Here’s to hoping that we will actually be able to read about it.